An Origin Story

A few winters ago, a Fremont County author came into the Lander Library asking for help with a book signing for a newly published book. This was not the first time the library had been asked for help with a signing; however, a process had not been developed for this kind of request. This did not sit well with any library staff.

Meanwhile, librarians Ami and Julie, sat at the circulation desk day after day listening to stories of works being written and writers wondering if there were any other writers in town. They also noticed just how many venues visual artists had in the county—festivals, pop-up shops, galleries on Main Street.

And writers are artists. They just use words instead of paintbrushes.

With that, Ami and Julie decided Fremont County needed an event to introduce residents to the artistry they saw that was taking place on the page here every day…an event that would give writers the opportunity to show off their work to the community and give the community a chance to support their work, just as the earring makers, journal creators, pottery throwers, and painters are supported.

After a lot of “What if we did this?” conversations, Bookmarked was born in 2020.

It serves as an event that connects local writers to local readers through readings and book fairs, and encourages neighbors to discover their new favorite writers and authors right here in Fremont County.

It introduces the county’s numerous writers to each other.

And it celebrates the art of writing by hosting workshops for our youngest community members, writing contests for all ages, workshops for those wanting to hone their craft, great food, and an inspiring keynote speaker.

In the inaugural festival in 2020, Bookmarked welcomed 12 writers to the stage, and twice as many come to hear what they had to say—during a pandemic, too. In 2021, 26 Fremont County writers shared their work on stage and through sales.

This year, we wonder, how can we all continue to support the writers (and readers) of Fremont County?

Photo: Emily Felsheim